Reference Date: 27-October-2015
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Mixed production prospects for 2015 crops
Prices of cereals increased seasonally in first semester of 2015 but remained generally at low levels
Food security situation has sharply deteriorated in 2015 due to massive refugee influx and internal displacement
Mixed prospects for 2015 crops
In several bi-modal rainfall areas of the Centre and South, harvesting of the 2015 main season crops is nearly complete, while planting of the second season maize crops has also almost concluded. According to satellite-based analysis, abundant rains from March to May were followed in parts by erratic and below-average rainfall from June to September, with a negative impact on long-cycle main season crops and early-planted second season crops. Rainfall amounts and distribution in the coming weeks will be crucial for crop development and performance.
In northern uni-modal areas (North and Far North regions), where sorghum and millet crops are predominantly grown, harvesting is underway. Early season dryness in April and May caused a delay in planting operations and negatively impacted on crop establishment. Average to above-average rainfall in the following months reduced moisture deficits; however, as of September, remote sensing analysis still indicated below-average vegetation conditions in parts (see ASI map). In addition, in the Far North Region, civil insecurity severely disrupted agricultural activities and caused a reduction in the planted area. According to the Emergency Food Security Assessment (EFSA) carried out by WFP in June 2015, 60 percent of farmers in the region indicated major land access constraints on account of civil insecurity.
Prices of cereals increased seasonally but remained at low levels
Prices of maize, the most consumed cereal, rose seasonally in most monitored markets in the first semester of 2015, increasing by up to 24 percent between January and June 2015. Prices in June were around their levels of a year earlier, largely reflecting the adequate availabilities from the average 2014 cereal production.
Prices of wheat and rice, mostly consumed in urban areas, increased slightly in the first semester of 2015 in Douala, the main urban centre. By contrast, in the capital, Yaoundé, wheat prices declined moderately between January and June 2015, while prices of rice recorded a marked volatility in the same period. Overall, prices of wheat and rice in June in both urban centres were around their levels of the same month of the previous year.
Food security situation sharply deteriorates in 2015 due to refugee influx and internal displacement
Local resources in northern and eastern regions have been put under added strain by the arrival of large numbers of refugees from neighbouring Nigeria and Central African Republic (CAR). As of September 2015, the number of refugees from CAR, who sought refuge mainly in Cameroon’s East and Adamaoua regions after a surge in sectarian violence in December 2013, were estimated at about 142 000. Taking into account the refugees who had entered the country in earlier waves since 2004 to escape rebel groups and bandits, the total number of refugees from CAR residing in Cameroon is currently put at about 260 000.
Refugees from Nigeria, who entered the country following the serious deterioration of the security situation in Borno State in June 2013, were estimated at about 62 400 in early October and are located in the Far North Region. In addition, civil unrest spread from Nigeria into the region and caused the displacement of 81 700 Cameroonians.
In late June, torrential rains in Douala, in the Littoral Region, caused floods which resulted in the displacement of 2 000 individuals and directly affected 30 000 persons.
The overall food security situation has sharply deteriorated in 2015 due to multiple shocks, including the influx of refugees from the CAR and Nigeria, increasing civil insecurity and natural hazards. In September 2015, the number of food insecure people was estimated at 1.27 million, 18 percent up from January 2015 and more than three times higher than two years earlier. The area most affected by food insecurity is the Far North Region, where one in three people are food insecure. In this region, according to the recently conducted EFSA, 32 percent of IDPs and 22 percent of the local population have exhausted their food stocks and the percentage of households relying on humanitarian assistance increased from 6 percent in 2014 to 33 percent in 2015. IDPs are the most vulnerable group, with an increasing number resorting to negative coping strategies. An estimated 75 percent of IDPs have engaged in “crisis” and “urgency” strategies such as the reduction of non-food essential expenses, sale of productive assets and begging.